What is Google My Business (GMB)?
Simply speaking, Google My Business is the most important online listing for any local business, and can have a significant positive impact on how well you rank with Google.
It is a free tool offered by Google to help businesses and organizations manage their online presence on Google.
Why Should I Care?
While there are many reasons why it's important for you to master your GMB listing, here are 5:
Your GMB listing can increase your changes of showing up in Google search results, Google Maps and organic (ie. non-paid) listings in general.
You can actively send customers to your GMB listing to leave positive reviews for you. The more reviews you have, the more it can have an impact on your search engine rankings.
Likewise, you will be notified when a review is made. This is particularly important in the event of a negative review as it gives you an opportunity to respond.
You can ensure the information on your business is accurate, including phone number, hours of operation etc.
You can optimize your listing to help stand out and entice customers to contact you.
What Do You Mean by Optimize?
Google provides a number of features in GMB to help you describe your business and the wonderful services/products you offer.
It's a good idea to take some time, and fully explore all the options so that you can utilize as many as possible.
It can all help in boosting your visibility on search results.
adding your logo
adding a cover photo (similar to Facebook)
adding pictures of your store/facility
adding pictures of your staff/horses
including a compelling description of your business
Manage your GMB on Your Phone
I've found the easiest way to manage a GMB listing is by using Google's app for mobile phone.
The layout is more intuitive than the desktop version, and makes it very easy to add pictures and respond to reviews.
Plus it's a super handy way to keep on top of your Google Posts (keep reading.....)
Think of this as similar to a Facebook Post, except it lasts for only 7 days.
It's a terrific way to provide more content to Google, and customers searching for you, as it allows for links and pictures.
You can promote an event (think horse show or clinic), or a sale (tack shops, I'm looking at you) or a horse for sale.
The first 100 characters of your post is what shows up automatically in that side Knowledge Panel, so make them count.
Be careful when choosing an image, so that it's not cropped off in an awkward place. You may have to expirement with this.
If you make more than 1 post within the 7 days, Google will show the first 2 1/2 in the search results without scrolling, and the remainder you can scroll through like a carousel.
It is Free!
This is important to emphasize. Google DOES NOT CHARGE for GMB listings!
Quite often I will hear from clients that they have received a phone call from Google about their GMB listing and that they need to pay in order to keep it active.
These are scams!
Google will never call you unsolicitied.
The persons/companies who make these calls are being very unscrupulous (I'm being kind!) in trying to get money out of you.
While you may decide to pay an expert to help you claim and optimize your GMB listing, the listing itself from Google is free.
EXCITED TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR GMB LISTING?
Download our free Ultimate 9-Point Google My Business Checklist to save time and make sure you cover all the key areas.